Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Return to Me” as Want to Read:
Return to Me
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Return to Me

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  817 ratings  ·  153 reviews
Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying be ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.55  · 
Rating details
 ·  817 ratings  ·  153 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Return to Me
More like a 1.5.

Rebecca's on the cusp of so many exciting and terrifying things -- she's been accepted to Columbia University and will be moving from her family's home in Seattle to New York City. She's thrilled to get away, but she's sad to leave behind boyfriend Jackson. Except, things fall apart before she gets the chance to pursue her dream of architecture school in the big apple. Her father drops the bomb that he just got a job in New York City and the entire family will be moving to New Je
Note: I'm about to get REAL spoilerific. Id' say don't read if you don't want spoilers, but this book is so blatantly obvious about EVERYTHING that I doubt I'd be ruining much of any of the experience for you.
Further note: Prepare for much RANTY RANT RANTS.

Dear Justina Chen Headley:

Can I call you JCH? I feel like we've been in a sad, sad relationship, the kind where you start off all butterfly-y and glowy and just completely in love and then SUDDENLY, without any warning, one of us just goes ba
Kelly Hager
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of Justina Chen's that I've read (the other being North of Beautiful, which I absolutely loved) and I was a little nervous and excited starting this one. Have you ever read a book that you loved so much that you get a little nervous starting something by the same author because you think that it can't possibly affect you the same way, that no matter how great it is, it won't be AS great as the book you first read and loved?

(Yes, I fully realize how completely psychotic I
Jenni Arndt
Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-own
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

If there is one thing I have found out about myself during my months as a book blogger it’s that I am a sucker for a contemporary. I love a good issue book and a cover, such as the one for Return To Me, always sucks me in. This results in me getting bitten in the butt quite a bit. I was quick to request Return To Me and it was quick to bite me in the butt. The only way I can think to review this book is to take my notes (yep I actually took notes
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-by-poc
Okay, so I went in not thinking a lot about it. My expectation hovered somewhere around a frou-frou chick lit of the Sarah Dessen variation with a positive message and an inspirational coming of age story. (Mind, those kinds of books aren't bad, but I'm not usually a fan.) But Return To Me was kind of unusual, and not exactly in a good way.

For starters, Rebecca Muir, also known as Reb, is a daddy's girl who is nineteen, fresh out of high school, and awaiting an architect internship in New York
Actual rating: 4.5 stars. As an avid (obsessed) reader, even when I'm reading a book I love, I'm thinking about the next book. When I finish a book (even a book I love), I put it down and reach for the next book. It's been a while since I finished a book and wanted to savor it before moving on. That's the experience I'm having with Return to Me. I really, really loved this story of Reb (Rebecca) trying to find herself after her father's shocking revelation and upheaval of her family. Yes, it tur ...more
Return To Me by Justina Chen is one of those books that is probably much better via audio than holding onto the physical book. Read my review here ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Return To Me is a poignant tale of the hardships of everyday life. Imbued with disappointment, doubt and betrayal, this novel gives a view of life through the eyes of young adult, Rebecca Muir just as she is about to leave for college. The women in Rebecca’s family have a secret that they try to hide, they have a sense of premonition, but what these women see, is not for the faint of heart; their truths are in the faults of life normally, and Rebecca, or Rebel, has a sense she is desperately try ...more
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I am basing these hacks on an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) I received at ALA conference. The final published version may be different…especially if the publisher takes my advice

Verdict: An honest look at what happens when someone you’ve implicitly trusted betrays your trust and upends your world – and a hopeful look at how endings can actually lead to new beginnings. There’s a lot of emphasis on adult characters, career planning, and New Age-y philosophy, so not sure if actual young a
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Return To Me is one of those books that stays with you long after you read it. This is the first book I have read from Justina and it won't be the last. I am thankful to Around The World ARC Tours for allowing me to read and review this book. This is a book every girl should read.

In Return to Me Rebecca is in her senior year of high school and she is planning on her future and where she will go to college. She has been accepted into a college and her plans are set for her future and where she wi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cindy Hudson
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reb, short for Rebecca, is looking forward to trading her home on remote Lewis Island in Washington State for the bustle of college life at Columbia. She can’t wait to escape from her stifling mother and live her own life. But that life takes a few twists and turns: first her parents announce that the family is moving to New Jersey for her dad’s new job, then after everyone moves across the country, Reb’s dad says he’s leaving to be with another woman.

Reeling from the changes, Reb suddenly start
Gillian Wiseman
I was disappointed in this book. Reb, the main character, is a good strong female lead; she spends the book exploring what she wants to do with her life, making good decisions, and such. In that respect it was a great book. Even the romance was decently executed and added to the story.

But the aspect of the book that was really "off" for me was the whole "psychic power" bit. Reb supposedly has "visions" that have frightened and disturbed her, her whole life. So do her mother and grandmother. The
Perhaps I'm a bitter old hag with a heart comprised of dust and the crushed dreams of teens, but despite feeling a certain sympathy for Reb's trials and traumas I couldn't shake the feeling that this was 'the moneyed privileged guide to finding one's life purpose'. The downbeat beginning of the story, wherein Reb's family life and her immediate plans fall apart thanks to her dad's douchebaggery, gives way to a kind of spiritual growth trek, which reminded me somewhat of a teen Eat, Prey, Love (b ...more
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first, I did that thing where you look at the author and then judge the book by their past work. I did not like her book NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. So, I thought I wouldn't like this book very much. But, then I started to read it. And I was sort of right. The main character, Reb, was extremely mean and whiny about almost everything. She was self depended on her parents and looked to them for every single little choice she, on her own, could make. But then I realized that was the whole point of the b ...more
Alissa Gundrum
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. It's been sitting on my shelf for a few years now, and I finally had the chance to pick it up. There is such a strong female lead in this novel, and I absolutely loved her and the journey she encountered. All the supporting characters were amazing as well and I felt like they added a lot to the story! It was such a beautifully written coming of age novel, and it really touched me at this point in my life. Sometimes, the s
Jul 25, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found myself skimming for dialogue about halfway through the book. The main character's emotions seemed to be felt in real time, not book time. I was not fond of the writing style or touchy-feely long explanatory nonsense. I did feel that the special gifts of the women were interesting and that the descriptions of the architectural creations were intriguing However, the main character was just not likable to me. Perhaps it is that the author gets the YA thing down, and teens like a character s ...more
I got really annoyed with the book after the first 100 pages. When it started off it was pretty good but once went to Hawaii it the pace of the book slowed down and almost stopped. She just keeps repeating the same thing about healing and soul and other things that would otherwise have a lot of meaning and power. All of Rebecca's epiphanies and findings would be valid if there was just more going on. The words just keep circling back to basically the same thing. I almost stopped reading the book ...more
May 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage girls
Shelves: justina-chen
So many great life truisms that are beautifully crafted using figurative language-----I love the arrangement of Chen's words. I recommend this read to mothers and daughters that are grieving over a divorce. Sometimes, the best slate to start with is a clean one.

New beginnings are blessings as seen in this heart warming story.

"For the most part things never get built the way they were drawn."------Maya Lin, artist and architect

Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rebecca has just moved to New Jersey with her family about to start college when all of a sudden the secrect that was never told came out affecting her life dramatically. After the event they decided it was best they move back to California to continue there old life. My favorite part was when Rebecca's boyfriend Jackson took her on the little rowboat that would grante their wish. I recommend this book to people who are in to Realistic Fiction and drama. Also to people who like suspense. ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Teenage girl with big plans for college and her future has her life fall apart, and it's kind of her fault because she ignored the warning from her sixth sense. She eventually figures out how to trust herself, figure out what she wants and surround herself with people who love and understand her. Satisfying and fun. ...more
Aleshia Raynor
I thought "return to me" was a pretty good book. It is about a girl named Rebecca Muir had to move away. When she moved into her new house her father was barley around and later she finds out that her father has been having an "affair" with another girl that wasn't her mother, Rebecca, her brother and her mother are all devastated and Rebecca starts to question her boyfriend. ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As good as Kasie West books, better than Sarah Dessen books, with respectful feminism and honest optimism and doesn’t rely on romance to push the story along, this little gem is my second I’ve read by the the author. Now I’m going to find the others I’ve missed and catch up.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written book that teaches about self-discovery, passion, forgiveness, and the power of a choice.
Predictable and somewhat repetitive. A quick YA read, if that's what you're looking for. ...more
Amy Taylor
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. Very easy to read. I finished it in one afternoon.
Liz Friend
The story: Reb longs to get away from her controlling, list-making mother, and she's planned her escape: attend a college at the opposite end of the country. The only drawback is leaving Jackson, a boy who could be her soul mate, behind. But when her dad gets an unexpected job offer in New York City, mom kick starts the family into moving mode--and it turns out they're all going to be living less than an hour away from her college dorm--plenty close for Mom to be making unexpected visits. Even w ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Lambe
I will start off by saying I love fluff books, Sarah Dessen has my heart. I also enjoy a good magicalness (I am drawing a blank on a good word, I'm referring to mystic aspects i.e visions, psychics, etc)- I REALLY enjoyed Martina Boone's Compulsion (second one was decent too). This book has both (spoiler? Not really), however it was just not working for me here. I feel that this aspect was only included to add a "you must love me and except my *fill in the blank*". Chen had SO many different opt ...more
Sep 07, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: at-school, arc, ncte
So, I don't normally do this, but this is the first book since The Maze Runner that I just couldn't finish. Unlike The Maze Runner, which I was reading merely because the kids wouldn't shut up about it, I was reading this book for me. I loved North of Beautiful. I got it as an ARC, and then I loved it so much that I bought it. That kind of love. The language was beautiful, the characters and their dynamics were captivating. Love. Justina Chen had me hooked.

I kept wandering past the ARC of this o
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
great book 1 1 Oct 08, 2014 03:34PM  
Did anyone catch Terra's appearance in this book? 1 8 Feb 04, 2013 09:24AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Saving Red
  • Spies and Prejudice
  • You Are Next
  • The Monkey's Raincoat (Elvis Cole, #1)
  • The Promise (Elvis Cole, #16; Joe Pike, #5; Scott James & Maggie, #2)
  • Suspect (Scott James & Maggie, #1)
  • Hope and Other Punchlines
  • Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
  • The Winemaker's Wife
  • Remember Me (Remember Me, #1-3)
  • Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson, #12)
  • Cycle of the Werewolf
  • As She Fades
  • UNSUB (UNSUB, #1)
  • Until the End (Final Friends, #1-3)
  • While It Lasts (Sea Breeze, #3)
  • Under the Lights (The Field Party, #2)
  • Tan Lines: Sand, Surf, and Secrets / Rays, Romance, and Rivalry / Beaches, Boys, and Betrayal (Summer, #5-7)
See similar books…
Justina Chen is an award-winning writer. Her latest book, THE ART OF INSPIRATION: LEAD YOUR BEST STORY, is for any leader who wants to inspire employees, customers, and constituents. Her YA novel, NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL, was named to Best Books lists by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble. Her other novels include A Blind Spot for Boys, Return to Me, Girl Overboard (a Junior Library Guild premiere selec ...more

Related Articles

  Rachel Lynn Solomon is best known to her fans for writing heartfelt contemporary YA novels like 2020's Today Tonight Tomorrow and her 2018...
27 likes · 0 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Forgiving others is easier when I remember that I'm human and stupid, too.” 7 likes
“When you think about it, life is a risk. Every day is a risk. Getting in a car is a risk. Loving is a risk. But, darling, losing it all means that you have a chance to rebuild, better than before.” 6 likes
More quotes…